The Pain of Pastoral Phone Calls

“Please go to voicemail. Please go to voicemail.”

–me, every time I have to call someone



I hate talking on the phone. Cellphones are the worst. If you begin speaking while the other person is speaking it gets cut off. Then both pause to let the other go. Then both speak at the same time. Then they go under a bridge or out of coverage and they are gone, only to call back later where you can hear every third word. The only thing worse is when the connection is clear and you can hear every word.

I hate talking on the phone.

The only people who still talk on the phone, are people who like talking on the phone. Everyone else texts. There is nothing worse than talking on the phone with someone who likes talking on the phone.

There are several lovers of talking on the phone who call me. If I’m not home, they will leave a message, asking me to call them back. I hate calling people back.

I also know, every month or so, there are certain people who like talking on the phone who would like me to call them. So I do. And I pray and I pray, “Lord please, I’m begging you, let this go to voicemail.”

If I can just leave a message, then these folks will know that I tried. I gave them a call and they didn’t answer. It’s not my fault! I wanted to talk on the phone, but no! You did not! Ha, I am now off the hook.

People who like talking on the phone generally like talking about their problems. Pretty much the only time certain people call me is if they have a new problem, which is strikingly similar to their old problems. Usually it has to do with arguments and fights with other people. Because for some reason, and I think we need more research on this, people who like to talk on the phone are typically fighting with everyone.

Talking on the phone to someone who likes talking on the phone about all their drama is life-suckingly horrendous.

There are many phone calls that end with me hanging up and sitting back and praying, “Dear Lord, thank you that is over. Please fill me with enough energy to get out of this chair and go on.”

People suck the life out of me anyway, but drama-filled phone talkers just about do me in. One of the reasons Jesus remained sinless is because there were no phones in His day.

OK, I know that was blasphemous, but still. Yes, I know He was tempted in every way like we are. There were no doubt talkative drama hoarders in His day as well. In fact, probably most of my prayers sound like those drama filled whiny phone calls I endure.

Which puts it all in perspective. Forgive as I’ve been forgiven. Do unto others as I’d have done to me. Love as I have been loved. Listen as I am listened to.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. I thank the Lord He listens to me with patience. I still call these people, mainly because of the Gospel’s work in me. I have no other reason for calling them. I get no personal benefit and by all appearances, nor do they. But it’s the right thing to do. A little something to show people the love of Christ.

Suck it up. Make the phone call. Getting voicemail only delays the inevitable anyhow.



Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
–James 1:19

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